January 9, 2018
“Bats in the Belfry”
Here we are in Louisville, KY at the Louisville Sluggers Factory. Because the factory floor is a union shop photos were not allowed during the actual production of the bats which we saw. However, with CNC automation, specialty bats can be produced to perfection as ordered by pro and minor league players. Production of a bat takes 30 seconds. Upon our exit there were walls of template-burned-in signatures which had graced personal bats of notable major league players from past years. How did the factory get its name? In 1887 a baseball player by the name of Pete Browning and known as the “Louisville Slugger” broke his bat, and upon doing so, went to the Hillerich family shop. The proprietor accommodated Pete by hand crafting a new bat. Because of the quality of Browning's bat, subsequent players ordered “Louisville Slugger's” bats—thence the name, Louisville Slugger.
Lou and Bonnie Janelle (LBJ) are career professionals who are currently pursuing life-long interests in photography and digital imaging techniques, respectively.